Pro cycling in W. Chester, Ren Faire opens and star gazing on tap
By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times
Are you in the mood for some old-time baseball?
If you’re a Phillies fan, “old time” would probably mean a few years ago when the Philadelphia team actually had a winning record and was a title contender.
But, if you in the mood for some genuine old-time baseball, just head down Route 52 from Kennett Square a few miles over the state line to
Twin Lakes Brewing Company (4210 Kennett Pike, Greenville, Delaware, 302-658-1826, winlakesbrewingcompany.com) on August 2.
At 1 p.m., the local brewery is hosting an event called “Old Style 1860’s Base Ball and Beer.” The beer will be provided by Twin Lakes and the baseball game will feature two area teams playing baseball according to the style and rules that were in effect in the late 1800s.
This weekend’s game will be played by the rules of the game as they were in the 19th century. During this era of baseball, players in the field caught the ball with bare hands instead of gloves. And, the game was known as “base ball” instead of “baseball.”
The contest at the brewery on August 2 will pit the Brandywine Base Ball Club of West Chester against the Diamond State Baseball Club. The Brandywine BBC of West Chester was established in 1865 and “re-constituted” in 2013.
The original Brandywines had a number of players who went on to play professional and major league baseball. The Brandywines were not only successful in the 1800s but they also existed well in to the 20th century.
The first incarnation of the Brandywine BBC of West Chester even played a challenge match in Shibe Park, the home park of the Philadelphia Phillies. The local team played its home games in the Walnut Trees in West Chester. One of the oldest pictures of a baseball club known is that of the Brandywines.
In 1865, the Diamond State Baseball Team was formed by some of the prominent young men of the city. The team was strictly amateur and played its home games at the playground at Delaware Avenue and Adams Street. In October of 1865, the club challenged the Athletics of Philadelphia, which at that time was still an amateur club.
Now, both the Brandywine Base Ball Club of West Chester and the Diamond State Baseball Club are members of the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League.
At Saturday’s event, there will be a $10 entrance fee for beer tastings and the base ball game with children under 10 admitted free. Hot dogs and other refreshments will be available for purchase. Rain date is August 3.
Another event this weekend that features an old-time flavor is the annual Goshen Country Fair (Goshen Fairgrounds, Park Avenue, East Goshen, 610- 430-1554, www.goshencountryfair.org). The fair, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this season, is running through August 2 at the Goshen Fairgrounds.
The free family-oriented event is real down-home country fair with all the agricultural events found at most traditional country fairs, including livestock competitions along with competitions in categories such as bread, cookies, flowering houseplants, cakes, flower arrangements, pies, vegetables and jams.
Another long-running traditional fair will start the day after the Goshen fair concludes. The 160th edition of the Reading Fair (1216 Hilltop Rd, Leesport, 610 372-2649, http://www.readingfair.us) will open on August 3 and continue through August 9.
The Midway will host an animal show called “Mutts Gone Nuts” each day and there will be a fireworks spectacular on August 9 at 9 p.m. There will also be auto, motorcycle and go-kart races throughout the week. Tickets for the fair are $10.
Another event this weekend which looks back to a bygone era is being presented by Pennypacker Mills (5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, 610-287-9349,http://www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills). “In the Good Old Summertime” will be held on August 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the historic site in Montgomery County.
Visitors to the event will be treated to an afternoon of vintage music on the porch, lawn games and a car show with the Delaware Valley Classic MG Car Club. Other activities include Victorian dress-up for photos, garden tours and hands-on fun in the 1900’s
History Center. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $2 per person.
You can also take a trip back in time by attending Das Awkscht Fescht (Macungie Memorial Park, Main Street, Macungie, 610-967-2317, www.awkscht.com) — an event that is easy to enjoy and difficult to pronounce.
Das Awkscht Fescht, which is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, runs from August 1-3 in Macungie, a small town just south of Allentown. It is billed as one of the largest antique and classic car shows in the country with over 3,500 cars on display.
The popular annual event takes its name from “Der Augscht”, which is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for “August.” Das Awkscht Fescht, which is held the first weekend of August each year, is a traditional summer festival with a full roster of family fun events.
There is a completely different car show each day. August 1 features the Variety Show with thousands of pre-1991 automobile models along with a variety of classic tractors, trucks and motorcycles.
On August 2, it will be the Antique and Classic Car Show with over 1,200 antique cars, classic automobiles and sports cars. On August 3, the event is the Special Interest Car Show featuring 34 car clubs with over 1,000 vintage autos.
Every year, the primary focus of the automobile side of Das Awkscht Fescht is on the impressive display of vintage autos — especially the featured car, which this year is the Dodge. The first Dodge car rolled off the assembly line in 1914.
There will be a variety of kids’ shows and activities including jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists, clowns and a special creative activity and display center. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Antique Toy Show, which is held at Eyer Middle School, and Toy Town, which is staged outdoors.
Other attractions include daily bingo sessions, picnics in the park, a playground, a huge public swimming pool, an arts and crafts show featuring over 120 artisans and an “Antique Auto Flea Market.” There will also be a fireworks spectacular Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Admission to the festival is $7 for adults and $2 for children (15 and under).
For those who really want to take a trip deep in the past, there is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (Mount Hope Estate and Winery grounds, Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021,www.parenfaire.com). This year’s 34th annual staging of the event, which bills itself as “the most wondrous event in all the Knowne World”, runs from August 2 through October 26.
The well-attended annual festival features authentic Elizabethan food and drink, traditional crafts from the guildsmen of yore and old-time games of skill — and a cast of hundreds of colorfully costumed re-enactors. It all takes place at Mount Hope Estate and Winery’s authentic 35-acre recreation of a 16th-century village in Olde England.
Every summer, the Faire features a new story from a different year of England’s past.
The year is 1525. Young King Henry VIII, with the help of his most trusted advisor, Cardinal Wolsey, has just signed the Treaty of More with the French Ambassador. In this treaty, Henry VIII agrees to secure the release of King Francis I, the rightful King of France, who is currently being held prisoner by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.
In exchange for releasing the King and restoring French lands currently under English rule, France agrees to pay King Henry an incredibly large sum of money to help restore England’s somewhat depleted coffers.
King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon finish the drudgery of negotiating and travel to the Shire of Mount Hope to relax and enjoy the famous hospitality of Mount Hope’s villagers. The French Ambassador hears Henry discussing the festivities in store for him at Mount Hope and decides he too could use a vacation. So, he unexpectedly appears at the Shire’s gates.
To find out how the story ends, you’ll have to visit the 2014 Renaissance Faire.
More than 70 shows are scheduled throughout each day on the Faire’s numerous stages. Without a doubt, the most popular attraction is the Jousting Arena. Visitors to the Faire flock to Bosworth Field whenever it’s time for the Ultimate Joust. Peasants lead cheers for their favorite knights while musicians pound out a heart-thumping beat. The Master of the List announces the combatants and soon an encounter of royal proportions ensues.
The Faire offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including listening to bagpipe music, checking out handsome Lords in their colorful silks, watching a jester’s acrobatics, learning how to juggle, being the recipient of a gypsy woman’s flirtations and watching the march of Beefeater Guards.
Guildsmen’s Way is the area that features a large number of merchants and artisans, including jewelers, candle makers, potters, herbalists, leather smiths, clothiers, and pewter makers — all offering for sale and demonstrating their ancient wares. And, there are more than 20 Royal Kitchens located around the faire with menus featuring a wide variety of food and beverage.
Single-day tickets are available at the gate for $29.95, but can be purchased in advance online for $26.95. For children (age 5-11) single-day tickets are available at the gate and online for $10.95.
Not every event on this weekend’s calendar looks to the past. There is one that looks to the sky.
On August 2, the Chesmont Astronomical Society will host a “Star Party” at French Creek State Park 843 Park Rd, Elverson, http://www.chesmontastro.org).The public is welcome and the free event, which runs from 8-11:45 p.m., offers activities for the entire family.
Participants will meet in the park’s playground parking lot. At the viewing site, they will be able to view the nighttime sky using society members’ telescopes and live view star cameras.
Potential targets for the August 2 Star Party include Mars, Saturn, galaxies M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) and M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), planetary nebulae M57 (Ring Nebula), M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) and NGC 6543 (Cat’s Eye Nebula), globular clusters M13 (Keystone Cluster), M5, M15 and M22 and, of course, the moon.
All possible star sightings depend on sky conditions. Because this event is weather dependent and needs a clear, dark sky to be effective, visitors should check the society’s website prior to heading to the park.
In addition to nature’s planetarium, there will be a criterium in the area this weekend.
On August 2, West Chester will host the 10th Annual Iron Hill Twilight Criterium with activities scheduled for the entire day. The Iron Hill Twilight Criterium is a professional cycling event that is part of the USA CRITS Championship series.
Starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, a large group of professional cyclists will race 60 laps around a one-mile circuit in downtown West Chester with the start and finish lines at Gay and High streets. The Amateur Men’s Criterium is scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m. followed by the Pro-Am Women’s Criterium at 6:45 p.m. and the Pro Men’s Criterium at 7:45 p.m.
The Rothman Institute Amateur Qualifiers will be held from 8:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. The “Market Street Block Party” will open at 4 p.m. and offer a variety of family fun activities including a kids’ zone, food vendors and live entertainment.
On August 3, riders of all levels will enjoy recreational bike tours starting at Hoopes Park in West Chester and traveling through the countryside surrounding West Chester. For additional information many of the activities, call 610-696-4046 or visit http://www.ironhilltwilightcriterium.com.
Other events this weekend will feature different forms of transportation — the Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival and the Tuner Evolution Car Show.
On August 2, Penn’s Landing will be the site of the Fourth Annual Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival (Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, http://seadbf.com) from noon-7 p.m.
In addition to being able to watch dragon boat teams race in the marina at Penn’s Landing, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase Southeast Asian food from a variety of vendors and enjoy cultural dances, lively music and talented performances that represent the Southeast Asian Region.
Also on August 2, the Tuner Evolution Car Show will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, http://www.tuner-evolution.com)
This show is a full automotive lifestyle event that showcases many aspects of the aftermarket automotive industry. It features some of the hottest customized vehicles in the country, vendors showing off their latest and greatest products, graffiti artists, eating contests, bikini contest, celebrity appearances, models and entertainment acts including bands, hip hop artists, skating and BMX demos.
However, the main attraction at Tuner Evolution is the vehicles with many of the country’s top builders competing for the elusive Best of Show award. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children (ages 7-12) and free for children (six and under.)
Can there be a summer weekend without a music festival?
It doesn’t seem so. This weekend, Reggae in the Park will be held in Philadelphia and Musikfest will begin its 10-day run in Bethlehem.
On August 3, Fairmount Park will be the site Reggae in the Park (Mann Center, 5201 N. Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-566-7900, http://manncenter.org). The top billing belongs to Matisyahu, a Hasidic reggae rapper who was born in West Chester 35 years ago as Matthew Paul Miller. He has released seven albums in the last decade.
The bill also features a number of top international reggae acts, including Steel Pulse, Morgan Heritage, The Expendables, Mavado, Konshens, Jah Works, Cultureal, Spokey Speaky, Steppin Razor, El Feco, Danny Roots, I Yahn I Arkestra, Sensamotion and Rocky and the Pressers.
“Reggae In The Park” features music on both the Mann’s Main Stage and at the Crescendo tent with performances from legendary reggae artists plus live DJ sets on the main plaza. There will also be crafts vendors and food booths with Caribbean and other international cuisine. Tickets range from $45 to $94.50 with children (12 and under) admitted for free with parent.
Bethlehem’s Musikfest (610-332-1300, www.musikfest.org) is more than just another popular summertime festival in the Lehigh Valley. Over the years, Musikfest has established itself as one of America’s top annual music festivals an event that offers big name headliners as well as a wide variety of folk, rock, pop and ethnic music acts. It also sports some impressive numbers.
The festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, features free music performances on most of its indoor and outdoor stages. Musikfest presents over 300 live musical performances and draws over one million people to the Lehigh Valley every August.
The Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza is the main concert stage at Musikfest and features national touring acts with tickets are required for all shows.
The lineup includes An Evening of The Allman Brothers, featuring the Craig Thatcher Band with Mike Dugan (August 1), the All-American Rejects (August 2), Jason Derulo (August 3), Sheryl Crow (August 4), The Moody Blues (August 5), Steely Dan (August 6), The Avett Brothers (August 7), Alan Jackson (August 8), Weezer (August 9) and Keith Urban (August 10).
Musikfest is much more than just festival offering a wealth of music. It also features interactive arts and theater activities for children along with a large number of concessions offering a wide array of food and beverage treats.